Tokyo: Who would have thought that other than better health, no-smoking has additional perks too! A company in Japan has decided to reward its non-smoking employees by offering extra six days off to make up for smokers’ cigarette breaks.
Piala Inc., a marketing firm in Tokyo, decided to implement this policy after a lot of employees complained that they were working more hours than staff who took time off to smoke a cigarette, as per a Telegraph report.The company, responding to the complains then decided to grant nonsmoking staff an additional six days off each year to make up for the time smokers take for cigarette breaks.
“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company, told the newspaper.
The employees said that the company’s office is on the 29th floor of a building and anyone craving a cigarette had to go to the basement level, meaning it took more time and the smoke breaks lasted around 15 minutes.
After the decision was implemented, Takao Asuka, Piala Inc. CEO, told Kyodo News, “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.”
And it seems to have worked too! Since the new policy was put in place, at least 30 of the company’s 120 employees have taken the extra days off and this incentive has also encouraged four people to give up smoking.
The smoking rate in Japan has dropped in recent years, thanks to increasing health awareness, an aging population, tougher regulations and higher cigarette prices, the Japan Times reported.